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Police Unit 38: Episode 15

Backs get stabbed and plans backfire when the antagonists of our show prove themselves to be just as clever as our professional conmen. Despite rising uncertainties and a potential win for the other side, our heroic duo finds that when you trust your team to have have your back and refuse to let your faith in your friends be diluted, even a temporary loss can be born with equanimity.

 
EPISODE 15 RECAP

Working late at the Freezer, Sung-il gets up to wash his face and take a call from Ma Jin-seok. He returns to find Chairman Choi sitting at his desk, surrounded by papers detailing their con on his company. The chairman asks if he is Baek Sung-il and introduces himself. Sung-il hides his alarm and calls Jung-do, asking him to hurry over because they have a guest.

Sung-il asks the chairman why he came, but the man smiles benignly and doesn’t answer. It seems he was waiting for Jung-do to arrive, because as soon as he enters their workroom, Chairman Choi says that he thought it would be rude of him not to return the gesture after Jung-do took the trouble of seeking him out to warn him.

Unnerved but calm, Jung-do offers him coffee. Chairman Choi smiles and tells him that he just wanted to see their faces. As he’s leaving, Jung-do stops the chairman and asks him how he knew about this place. The chairman looks at them with disdain and says that this is the reason they can’t beat him — they don’t know what’s important.

After Chairman Choi leaves, Sung-il tells Jung-do that the chairman probably saw the papers on his desk. Jung-do sighs in frustration and asks if Chairman Choi saw the file on the loan fraud. Sung-il reassures him that he’d already put that file away so it’s safe.

Unfortunately, Chairman Choi and Director Ahn seem to already know about the loan fraud. In a quick flashback, we see that the chairman had rifled through the papers on Sung-il’s desk, which held the evidence of President Cha’s embezzlements from Kukjin’s finances. Director Ahn now speculates that President Cha and Director Jo had been skimming from the company, hoping to hide their bigger crime of loan fraud.

The chairman thinks they simply got tired of laundering money and switched their tactics. He orders Director Ahn to contact Prosecutor Park, and have President Cha and Director Jo arrested when they reach the bank to take out the loan. He further directs Ahn to bring the ledger with the duo’s creative accounting to him.

When Director Ahn points out that they should get the ledger before the two fudge the numbers, since it could damage the company’s reputation, Chairman Choi simply tells him to make sure that no one finds out. He explains that they need the ledger as insurance in case Mayor Chun doesn’t get re-elected. In such a case, they could at least get some money through the fake loan, while letting the hapless president and director take the fall for committing fraud.

Director Ahn asks in mild disbelief if Chairman Choi would really go through loan fraud and destroy his own company. The chairman just says that it’s the money that is most important. Director Ahn absorbs that and then asks what the chairman can do for him then.

Chairman Choi looks up and asks whether Ahn wants money or power. When Director Ahn says both, he tells him to stick close to him. In four years’ time, Mayor Chun will no longer be able to stand for re-election, says the chairman, and he’ll need another pawn. They smile at each other in evil understanding.

A contact at the prosecutor’s office gives Secretary Kim some bad news, which he conveys to Chairman Wang. He has Kim call Jung-do and Sung-il over, and informs them that they have been betrayed. Secretary Kim tells them that two years ago, Prosecutor Park had been given enough circumstantial evidence linking Jung-do to the cons to have him convicted.

Secretary Kim points out that that kind of information could have only been leaked by someone on the inside. Sung-il asks who it was, but Secretary Kim has no answers for him, since even Prosecutor Park didn’t know who the source was. He does point out however that if the same person is still working for Chairman Choi, then the chairman already knows about their con.

He tells Jung-do and Sung-il to pull the plug. Jung-do is noticeably shaken but says that he should trust his team, especially after what he did to them two years ago. He wants to keep going. Chairman Wang agrees but warns him not to fail. Secretary Kim asks Jung-do what he’ll do about the spy, and Sung-il suggests that they be open with the crew. Jung-do observes wryly that that is exactly what Sung-il would do.

The crew assembles at the Freezer the next day, and Sung-il and Jung-do watch them laugh and talk with each other. Jung-do starts addressing them, none of his usual magnetic charm in evidence, and Madam Noh has to intervene to shut up the crew and let him speak. He tells them that one of them has betrayed the team, which catches their attention.

He quietly explains what happened two years ago, and that Chairman Choi likely knows their entire plan now. Hak-joo asks who the traitor is. Jung-do tells him that he doesn’t know, but implores whoever it is that while two years ago he was the only one to suffer, this time a lot more people will be hurt if their plan fails. He quotes Sung-hee and says that someone told him — when you play with a person’s heart, you hurt them and then you become lonely.

Knowing that the traitor likely holds a grudge against him for what he had done, he tells them that he can deal with loneliness but not the idea that people will be hurt because of him. He begs the unknown traitor to hold back just this once. Sung-il tells everyone that despite the leak, they intend to go forward with the loan con. He asks if anyone has anything to say, but when no one speaks up, Sung-il ends the meeting to begin work.

Director Ahn waits at a café for the team’s traitor to meet with him, and it’s Hak-joo who slides into the seat across from him. He tells Director Ahn that the team knows that there is a leak, although they don’t yet know who. Director Ahn is surprised to hear that they don’t plan on changing their con. He asks Hak-joo if he’s telling the truth and Hak-joo is livid at the accusation, but Ahn laughs it off and asks when the crew intends to move.

Director Jo waits impatiently for his assistant to come back with the ledger holding Kukjin’s falsified profits. He calls President Cha as soon as he gets it and heads out to meet him, while Director Ahn informs Chairman Choi, who is sitting in Prosecutor Park’s office. The chairman and the prosecutor smile in a similar reptilian fashion as they put their plan in motion.

As Ma Jin-seok heads out to meet Director Jo to visit the first bank together, Sung-il asks Jung-do if the plan will work. Jung-do tells him that they have to make it work. On his way, Jin-seok calls Detective Jae-sung and updates him on the plan. Jae-sung tells him that the chairman hasn’t called him to find out about the tip yet. Their plan seems to be to get $5 million each from Chairman Choi, by tipping him off to Jung-do’s con. Jin-seok points out that while he’s doing his part, Jae-sung doesn’t seem to be doing enough to get his share. Jae-sung hangs up in irritation.

Mayor Chun calls Sung-hee to his office. He asks her to quit her job and help him with his re-election campaign instead. Sung-hee thinks for a moment and asks if he really has to run again. She explains that in his eight years as a mayor, he’s seen many possibilities but also many limitations. She suggests giving it up and making way for a new person. Mayor Chun asks if the “limitation” she mentioned was Chairman Choi. He says defensively that the no one has seen a Mayor Chun without the backing of Chairman Choi, but he promises to show her now.

Director Ahn waits with Hak-joo outside the café where President Cha and Director Jo meet. Director Ahn tells Hak-joo to take the ledger and to go straight to Chairman Choi, while he goes through Director Jo’s office. Jin-seok meets the men at the café and they move to start visiting banks with their documents.

As they head out, Prosecutor Park arrives with the police and has all of them — Jin-seok, Director Jo, President Cha — arrested. He hands the ledger over to Director Ahn, who in turn gives them to Hak-joo. Director Ahn calls someone to start the search of Director Jo’s office.

Sung-il, Jung-do, and Mi-joo wait at the Freezer, tensed for any news. As Hak-joo drives to Chairman Choi with the ledger, we flash back to the meeting before, when Sung-il asks if anyone wants to speak up. After a long pause, Hak-joo admits that it’s him. He draws a slow breath and looks up at Jung-do with anger. He confesses to handing evidence to Director Ahn two years ago and tells Jung-do that he rejoined the team to get back at him.

He rages at Jung-do for betraying him, and Jung-do listens to him, silent as a stone. When Mi-joo asks how he could have done this, he shouts in disbelief that they’re looking down on him when Jung-do was the one to turn on them first. He barks that he quits and they should all give up and leave.

Softly, Jung-do apologizes to Hak-joo and thanks him for telling the truth. Jung-do promises to do whatever Hak-joo wants, making Hak-joo scream in frustration and anger. He stomps away to wash his face, and when he comes back, he stands in the middle of the room thinking back to the old grandpa’s restaurant, and the team’s effort to clean it up.

Hak-joo had just said that he hadn’t rejoined for little Da-mi or her grandfather, but perhaps he did feel some sympathy for them, because he glares at Jung-do and tells him that while he doesn’t forgive him, he’ll postpone revenge until after their con. Jung-do smiles in acceptance, and Hak-joo tells them they’ll need to modify the plan.

The team asks how and he suggests switching from loan fraud to accounting fraud. He says that they can’t give the file to the police since Chairman Choi has a prosecutor in his pocket, then looks at Ja-wang who understands instantly that he wants the faked ledgers to be exposed online.

In the present, Hak-joo reaches Ja-wang’s hidey-hole, and finds him crumpled and bleeding on the ground. Director Ahn smiles at him from Ja-wang’s chair and explains that he had someone follow Hak-joo. Hak-joo looks at the goons by Ahn and slowly backs away while calling Jung-do.

He starts running while he tells Jung-do that they’ve been caught, but the goons catch up to him. Jung-do hears him screaming on the phone, and he runs out with Sung-il and Mi-joo behind him. Director Ahn has Hak-joo’s prone body piled on Ja-wang’s and calls Chairman Choi to tell them that the job is done. As Chairman Choi puts away the phone with a satisfied smile, his assistant tells him that Mayor Chun had come to visit.

They find Ja-wang and Hak-joo bleeding and unconscious on the floor and Mi-joo quickly calls emergency. They take the two to the hospital and inform Madam Noh about the accident.

Back at Chairman Choi’s office, Mayor Chun tells him that he’s here to cut ties with the chairman. The old man laughs but Mayor Chun tells him with a sneer that he knows how the chairman has handled him all this time — by pretending to respect him while looking down on him. Director Ahn walks in and Chairman Choi smiles as his new favorite takes a seat beside them.

But Mayor Chun kills that smile when he tells the chairman that two years ago when he had carelessly tossed Director Ahn away to save his own skin, he had created some potent bitterness. Director Ahn hands the file over to the mayor instead, making his allegiance to Mayor Chun clear, and Chairman Choi asks in disbelief if the mayor planted Ahn to betray him.

After Director Ahn leaves, the mayor makes his position clear: If the file gets leaked, Kukjin Construction will be ruined, and Chairman Choi will lose his source of income. The chairman asks what he wants and the mayor tells him to disappear from his life and the city of Seowon. Mayor Chun declares that without the chairman’s influence, he could become a mayor who can stand with the people.

Chairman Choi agrees to leave, but points out that if Mayor Chun were the kind of individual he imagined himself to be, then he would have never gone to Chairman Choi for money. “Money doesn’t entice clean people. Why don’t you know yourself?” He points out that without the mayor’s help, he would never have been able to touch Maseokdong, and promises that the mayor will realize this about himself soon.

Madam Noh and Ji-yeon arrive at the hospital to see Ja-wang and Hak-joo laid up and unconscious while Mi-joo stands by their beds. Madam Noh asks if they will live, and Mi-joo looks blankly at her for a moment before realizing she meant the boys and points to the empty junk food wrappers on the floor. After eating an enormous dinner, they’ve fallen asleep, Mi-joo says. That’s when they hear the snores. Hee.

Chairman Wang’s secretary dresses Jung-do down for being more arrogant than skilled. He dismisses Jung-do’s excuses for failing and asks what he intends to do next. Seeing Jung-do bow his head in tiredness and defeat, Sung-il says that there was something he told himself everyday for the past two years: “Don’t get tired. Hang in there, and when Jung-do gets out, let’s fight. Don’t fight to win but fight until you win.”

Sung-il points out that they barely made one jab and need to hit a few more times to defeat the enemy. Secretary Kim and Chairman Wang discuss the matter, and the chairman looks uncertain about what he wants to do next.

Mayor Chun watches the news that analyzes how close the battle is between him and his election rival, when Director Ahn comes into his office. He informs the mayor that he has quit his position at Kukjin. The mayor doesn’t look pleased and asks what he wants to do now. Director Ahn tells him he wants to be the vice mayor. Mayor Chun asks him why a smart man like him would want to do something so foolish. Director Ahn smiles and says that he’s not smart, or he wouldn’t have been doing the mayor’s dirty work all these years.

He reminds Mayor Chun that no one knows better than him all that the mayor has done over the years. Having him beside him could help the mayor win this election, he says. He threatens the mayor by bringing up something he did eight years ago, and that vague mention gets a reaction out of Mayor Chun. Director Ahn changes the subject and brings up Chairman Wang.

He guesses that Mayor Chun is banking on Chairman Wang to help fund him after cutting loose from Chairman Choi, but says that’s friendship, not politics. He suggests that the mayor use the Maseokdong project to play a different game. There’s something the mayor doesn’t know about Chairman Wang, and this is exactly why he needs him, points out Ahn.

Detective Jae-sung gets the call he was waiting for and collects $5 million from Chairman Choi. In return, he tells the chairman the secret to controlling the mayor, which we don’t get to hear. Mayor Chun calls up Sung-hee and asks if she knew about Chairman Wang working with the conmen. Before she can answer, he says that it isn’t important and that Director Ahn is meeting the man right now.

Director Ahn tells Chairman Wang to work with them instead of protecting a bunch of conmen. He explains that he looked into Madam Noh and the bread crumbs led him to Chairman Wang. The chairman asks if Director Ahn is asking him to betray Jung-do, and Ahn admits that he is, indeed.

He coaxes Chairman Wang by telling him that maintaining a friendship formed behind bars doesn’t suit his status. And if he refuses, adds Ahn, then the rights to the Maseokdong redevelopment project will go to someone else. He promises to give the rights to the chairman if he cuts the conmen loose.

The mayor tells his daughter that while he will work with Chairman Wang, it won’t be how she and her friends had imagined. “Look at the world with naïve eyes, but don’t be naïve in life,” he advises Sung-hee before hanging up. Sung-hee calls up Sung-il and tells him that the mayor knows about Jung-do and the chairman’s relationship.

Director Ahn asks Chairman Wang to make a decision, and the chairman calls his secretary. He orders the secretary to tell Jung-do to put the plan on the backburner. Secretary Kim seems surprised but doesn’t question his boss. Then Madam Noh gets a call from Chairman Wang, who tells her that he’s cutting ties with Jung-do, and advises her to do the same. Jung-do gets a call too, and looks at Sung-il in surprised dismay as he hears what the caller has to say.

Chairman Choi calls the mayor with a question. When the mayor tries to be dismissive, he promises that it’ll be a shock. Reminding him of Kim Min-sik’s death eight years ago, the chairman says: “I heard he didn’t commit suicide.” The mayor’s eyes widen in fear at those words.

COMMENTS

This may sound uncharitable, but I was not completely down with the team coming together over Grandpa and little Da-mi. It made no sense to me. While Sung-il and Jung-do had their moments of connection with the old man and his granddaughter, the rest of the gang barely had any contact other than being grumpily served food by him. I’m sorry, but no way do they come together to work with Jung-do — the guy who betrayed them — because an old man they hardly know lost his restaurant. Especially when this time Jung-do doesn’t even bother to promise them a cut of the scam money (which never materializes). So, Hak-joo’s real motivation was a huge relief to me. This made him human, instead of just the caricature of a goon who forgave Jung-do because the guy smoothly complimented him on his haircut. Mi-joo likely rejoins because of her affection for Jung-do, while Ja-wang likes having friends and a greater purpose. Madam Noh and Ji-yeon are the only ones truly motivated to help Grandpa and bring down the corrupt rich. It suits Madam Noh’s character. She’s tough as nails but fair. Which is why I’m dying to know how she reacts to Chairman Wang’s change of heart. Something tells me that if Madam Noh had truly not wanted to help Jung-do initially, no amount of pressure from Chairman Wang would have made her. So, I really hope that she shrugs off Chairman Wang’s order and does her own thing.

There is something about intelligent, complex villains that truly raises the quality of storytelling in a show. Each of the antagonists whom our con team brought down was a memorable character. Ma Jin-seok’s return to the screen easily stole the scene he walked into. President Bang and his peculiar family were as unique in their characterization, as Director Ahn, Chairman Choi, or Mayor Chun. Each of them has different levels of understanding their own evil. While President Bang and Chairman Choi never apologized for being corrupt, Director Ahn seems to view himself as a hardworking, clever man who deserves all the power and money he can get. Mayor Chun on the other hand is deliberately obtuse about his own motivations. He uses the chairman as an excuse to profit from abusing his position. He clearly believes that he is a good man, oppressed by the greed of his old sponsor. He has successfully shut off his ability to reflect on his own actions, and his self delusion makes him both pathetic and dangerous. On a personal level, a man like him could engender a lot of sympathy from someone like Sung-hee, until experience teaches her to doubt her father’s words because his actions don’t match them. Her expression when he declares that he will show her what kind of mayor he can be says it all.

As Saya pointed out, despite knowing that good shall prevail over evil, the audience has been kept enthralled by the twists of the narrative through fifteen episodes now. The penultimate twist seems to be that Jung-do is not after all the omnipotent chess-master we thought he was. He can be alone, vulnerable, tired, and betrayed. The Jung-do who apologized to Hak-joo today for betraying his trust is not the same one who swindled Sung-il’s savings just to entrap him into a complex revenge plot against their common enemy. The previous Jung-do cared for his vengeance above all else, while this one values the people in his life the most. It’s not that his softer emotions are blunting the edge of his cunning, but that his priorities have changed. This new Jung-do refuses to be ruthless at the cost of the people he cares about. It’s the line in the sand that he’s drawn for himself, separating his old desperate need for justice from his new, more patient self.

 
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"As Saya pointed out, despite knowing that good shall prevail over evil, the audience has been kept enthralled by the twists of the narrative through fifteen episodes now. The penultimate twist seems to be that Jung-do is not after all the omnipotent chess-master we thought he was."

Yeah, no kidding, soooooo many twists.

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Soo many players with different agendas within one con. MIND EXPLOSION.

And there are more twists in this episode, than there are players in this drama. Which is a lot.

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There are more twists in this episode, than there are episode in this drama.

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To be fair, it felt as if there are more twists in this episode, than there are twists in the entire drama. And we had multiple per episodes.

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There are twists in twists in which it also turned out to be a twist. And then another twisted twist. And another.

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@knightauror You would think we would be wiser. The only thing I can predict is that there will be another twists. Aside from that, I have no idea what's to come. lol.

My contribution: There are more twists in this episode than there are explicit scenes in HBO.

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If hollywood is fair game:
There are more twists in this episode than there are death stares in Twilight.

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There are more twists in this episode than there are episodes in sageuk.

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I changed my mind. There are more twists in this episode, than there are episodes in a week-end drama.

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I raise the bar. Week-end sitcoms.

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There are more twists in this episode than the word "twists" in this post.

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There are more twists in this episode than the number of different roles Seo In Guk can act.

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That's easily beaten. There are more twists in this episode, than there are the number of different roles Jung Do can take on. COMBINED with Ji Sung.

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My turn. There are more twists in this episode than there are the number of time Ahn Yona yelled OPPPPAAAAA in KMHM.

Seriously tho. cant believe this is only the penultimate episode. they're making our heads exploe as if it was the finale.

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"if you're handsome, you're an oppa"

There are more twists in this episode than there tears I shredded when I learned my "oppas" were going to the army this year. Farewell 1987 ers.

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if this drama was a mixer, it would trun whipped cream into granite.

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*if this drama was a mixer, it would turn whipped cream into granite.

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I don´t like mimicing or copying someone, but

if this drama was my washing mashine, my laundry would get spinned back to thread.

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There are more twists in this episode, than in a TWIX.

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There are more twists in this episode, than there are SUBWAYS in the entire world.

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@squad 38 plz dont go

There are more twists in this episode, than there are SUBWAYS in the entire world.

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I can beat that. There are moer twists in this episode than there are subways in dramaland. #PPL

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Wait a minute. There were no Subways in 38 Land.
O_O

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@blnmom u just reminded me... there r no abs in this drama either?

Ther are more twists in this episode, than there are chocolate bars in dramaland. yes, im talking the muscle kind.

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Actually there are also more twists in this episode than the number of Subway PPLs the dramabeans community has come up with!

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@blnmom and Iris, there are no Subway PPLs, no choco abs and no delicious kisses...but we got one very questionable shower scene... what is this drama? Lol

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There are more twists in this episode than there are in my brain, figuratively. And literally. Graphic but true.

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My head is spining n twisted for this ep and Jung Do is the mastermind of twisted conman lol..i dunno what i'm talking about ..xd

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There are more twists in this episode than there are twists in Chubby Checker THE TWIST... Am I showing my age?

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I doubt you're as old as that song implies. lol.

There are more twists in this episode than PPL in DOTS. Let's start the diss.

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There are more twists in this episode than there are Noble Idiots in dramaland. Does that count?

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There are more twists in this episode than trolls on youtube.

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There are more twists in this episode than money in my wallet. #broke /self-diss

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There are more twists in this episode, than there are flower boys in Scarlet Heart. (Yes, promo for Junki.)

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There are more twists in this episode than there are comments in a W posts on DB. (another promo post. or maybe boast post).

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There are more twists in this episode than there complaints about PSH's kissing scenes.

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There are more twists in this episode than there were medical violations in Beautiful Mind.

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There are more twists in this episode than there are Lee Min Ho + KSH + JCW + SJK fans in china.

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@ comment #1

ROFL. Did DB just create a reverse-meme for itself?

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I want to join in too- There are more twists in this episode than the number of times we have mentioned on Dramabeans how HAWWWT Seo In Guk is!

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That is mathematically impossible.

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@blnmom, true... Coz he's +alpha. ?

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I wish you were all conned out of every subway joke ever. this is getting unbelievably repetative

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There are more twists in this episode than there are murderers in Bad Guys. I know it doesn't sound much like a promo, but it is one. Seriously, watch it guys. It will be worth it. *yells* BAD GUYS+alpha SEASON 2!!!!!!!! *yells*

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I feel like like writer stepped up his game for this drama compared to Bad Guys. And Bad Guys was already epic. I second that recommendation. All of you should watch Bad Guys. It's much darker, but definitely worth it.

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Can I 'third' this? Bad Guys is seriously awesome.

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LOL. you just started an awesome thread. I'm looking forward to seeing this thread on this week's beans of wisdom..

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It is too long... and if the put To be continued at the end of BoW, will it turn into a webtoon page with all of us as characters?

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I keep telling myself that there MUST be a twist in all to all this bad news. It's already the penultimate episode...the guys don't have time to come up with another plan!!! Yes, it must be all a con job...but just who is conning who?

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Pwahaha, you guys are insane...here I am opening the recap and going all o.O when I saw the number of comments, just to find out that over half of them are twist ones.
Excuse me while I go back to my 38 corner, trying to untangle the mess this episode has done to me brain.

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Thanks for taking on this drama, festerfaster! Enjoyed your recaps.

Jungdo and Hakjoo's scene got me all weepy. When Jungdo said, sorry, Hakjoo-hyung, thank you for telling me the truth, we'll do what you want to do. *tears*

SIG is so good.

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I know, that was fantastic. I had a hunch it was Hak-Joo cause Insta pictures featured him with an envelope, and then beaten up. But I never believed he would permanently go to the baddies side.

after all our bunch of seven is a fellowship.

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While I'm admittedly disappointed that Sunghee was relegated to a guest appearance, everything else in this episode was fantastic. The last two episodes of most shows I've watched are slowed down with wrap up that leave a lot to be desired, but they went full steam ahead with this and it was fantastic.

Honestly I've tried and failed to watch alot of SIG other works, but haven't been able to immerse myself as I have with this. I'd go through the first episode and stop, but I'll try remember you again hoping it gets better. Here, however, I'm completely in love with his portrayal and range of emotions he's able to display.

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I Remember You definitely got better and better with each episode. And as much as I love SIG, Park Bogum was SO amazing in it. If you stick it out for a couple episodes, I bet you'll love it.

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I second this. I remember you was an amazing drama thats gets better and better. Seo In Guk, Park Bo Gum and Choi Won Young were fantastic in their role. The pace is probably slow at first but stick to it until the 3rd/4th episode and I guarantee you'll be addicted by then. That's the drama that got me interested in Seo In Guk and Park Bo Gum. Sorry for rambling on and on^^

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This episode reminded me why i liked the shows moderate pace so much. The cons were neither too quick nor too slow. Though the twosts in this episode were good but they got a little tiresome and it should've been moderated with the slower episodes 14 and 16.

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Everybody has their own agenda within another's agenda within another's agenda.

Everybody betrays signs of a betrayal which may be a betrayal of a betrayal.

Everybody makes a move anticipating the opponent's next move which anticipated this move which also anticipated the anticipation.

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My brain exploded after watching this eps. It's hurt so badly. I've never felt this before. This drama, you can never guess what will happen next, who conned who, and there are always layers behind layer and layer.

Even I stop to guess and thinking what will happen in the last eps. And thanks God I did that. Or I don't know what will happen with my brain and sanity.

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This drama reminds me a little of when I was into Agatha Christie. I read almost all of her mystery novels (I think about 80) and while she kept pretty much the same plot pattern for each novel, I could only guess about 3 of the murderers correctly. I always knew a twist was coming but somehow she mixed it up just enough so that I was always wrong, lol. So far in PU38 I guessed correctly that Mijoo didn't betray the team in the Bang scam -- other than that, I've been surprised at the twists. Love it!

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“Money doesn’t entice clean people. Why don’t you know yourself?”

I really, really liked this line. It's got a couple of levels to it - it's not necessarily saying there are corrupt people and there are virtuous people. It's more like saying that without knowing your own nature, you can't honestly understand your own motivations. If you're lying to yourself about your nature, you're a lot more likely to fall on the corrupt side of the scales.

In that way the Mayor is almost worse than the other crooks we've seen: not only is he inclined to corruption, but he tells himself that his true nature is virtuous, which allows him to pretend that the times he falls for money or power are one-offs rather than a pattern. So he's a corrupt hypocrite (which is part of what made the Chairman's pious "I'll go by the law when it comes to redevelopment" such a twist of the knife).

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You can totally see why Chairman Choi is at the top.

Not only is he able to separate money from attachments or emotions, he can also read people (at least, the greedy susceptible ones) and manipulate them for his own purposes. Now let's see how far this "Money and Power is the only thing that matters" belief takes him and if it will work on our team of conmen.

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Ah the crisis that is Mayor Chun Gap Soo. That was one of the most delicious character tipping points that I've ever seen in a drama. In the span of an episode, he easily became one of the most compelling characters throughout the series. That we caught him at point-break allowed the drama to let us in on what it's really like to be caught between your values and your actions, your own web of manipulations gone haywire. The nearly delirious, dangerously erratic transitions between his id and ego, the ins and outs of it---he is clearly hurtling towards oblivion, there's no doubt about it. The way the character behaved in this episode set the stage for the relevance of choice: redemption or the abyss? We can perhaps assume what his choice will be, given that Sung Hee is strongly relevant to him...but we'll never know if his inner monsters are greater than his self-proclaimed good intentions.

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I initially thought Mayor Chun was the nicest out of all the bad guys but actually it's the other way around, he's the worst out of all the bad guys!

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i still remember the scene int the trailer where sunghee, jungdo and papa bear in van together. did they cut that scene? Or did I miss it?

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Idk, but usually the scene from teaser doesnt included in to the actual scene.

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I wonder if the writer had this song playing on the background when he was writing this drama: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh8eb_ACLl8

but next to twisty, it was incredibly moving - not even the grandpa and DA Mi thing, but the little changes in Jung Do´s face and behavior. you can almost sense the load of pressure he has taken on his shoulders.

Jung Do and Sung Il have become like Frodo and Sam on the way to Mordor to throw away the Ring. Except Sung Ils´trust will never waver now even as all the gollums try to shake him. and he is also not trying to stop Jung Do in front of the possible consequences.

what I cannot grasp is if Commissioner Ahn was working against Chairman Choi why did he have to beat up Hak Joo and Ja-Wang. That was just lust for violence.

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to continue with this, the drama conned me to believe that it was taking after Robin Hood with its merry men and cool tricks, each with their own grudge or motifs, , but it turned out to be Lord of the Rings instead with our 7 conmen being the Fellowship with one goal.

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the heartbreaking thing is to the end, Jung Do has a con going on about his personal emotions, inside his soul. though he looks careless in prison, it can´t possibly be. Who would find it easy? He also never truly opened up or confided in anyone, he just keeps putting on the brave face, which is when he comes off arrogant to people, but it is just that they cannot look into his soul. Just like Frodo with his burdensome ring, that was weighing him down. thats why it is so improtant that the Samwise in Sung Il has learned to read Jung Do and his true intentions, fears and intentions – the skill he was taught by Jung Do himself, and has become like a silent human support pillar. Just the fact that he is there is a relief for Jung Do. [SPOILER]

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At this rate, I'm going to run out of cookies soon. Still, I want to give tons of cookies to whoever suspected Hak-joo on the last recap. She/he said that Hak-joo doesn't have enough reason to join hands with Jung-do again after all that fiasco and that he has enough anger to want to get back at Jung-do. And I thought it was just another crazy theory... Forgive me, beanies, whoever you are..

This show, oh, this show. It's gonna fry my brain for good by the final eps.

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"While Sung-il and Jung-do had their moments of connection with the old man and his granddaughter, the rest of the gang barely had any contact other than being grumpily served food by him. I’m sorry, but no way do they come together to work with Jung-do — the guy who betrayed them — because an old man they hardly know lost his restaurant. Especially when this time Jung-do doesn’t even bother to promise them a cut of the scam money (which never materializes)."

Really, the whole drama, I've been having trouble with character motivations of side characters. There were also a certain stupid things done with just a little foresight could have prevented future problems, but then we wouldn't have had the plot twists because it wouldn't have been as organic.

I'm specifically talking about why Jung Do needs to throw away ALL of Bang Pil Gyu's money they filched without taking the cut that had been promised to the con artists themselves for doing the tax collector's job. If he'd have done the logical AND emotional smart thing and kept the money for the con artists, then he wouldn't have betrayed them and there wouldn't be the surprise twist of a betrayer in their midst.

That's the problem with the writer in this series. I feel like the side characters are just there to provide comedic relief or provide a plot point so that the writer can provide a twist at a certain time.

While it was entertaining, there's been a disconnect that's been keeping me from actually investing fully in the drama, since I get the impression that really half of them are plot devices for the main characters.

Even Soon-hee seems kind of like a plot device for the Mayor and Jung Do.

It's very strange since the main characters and villains are decently fleshed out.

Another example, is that I still don't understand Ma Jin Seok's motivation for getting in on the con. He wasn't given any money. He went to jail for Bang Pil Gyu and doesn't really seem to have a beef with Chairman Choi. So, why does he join in the con?

It's unexplained motivations like this which keeps the world from feeling like a fully-fleshed out world and more of a plot-device driven one....

Anyways, I'm curious what others feel about this.

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nope if he had taken the cut then it woulnt match his intention to return the money to the public directly instead of taxes which would go into the pockets of the baddies. all of the money. in that sense, he was loayl to the cause. I understood his intention. if he had taken the cut it would mean stealing the public money in Jund Dos´ eyes.

as to Ma Jin Seok - I think he is a guy who gets mental satisfaction from knocking someone down. he has not changed. he is in it for the twisted joy of drinking from someone elses agony. just like with the ajumma in the beginning. also, he used to trust money but money betrayed him, so he has to rely on something else, cause he is still thirsty.
btw I want to see this actor again, he is very charismatic

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I thought Madam Noh was funding them again, including paying Ma Jin Seok.

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At the very first con (ma jinseok).. Jungdo's motivation is revenge.. And the other team is money.. Actually Ms Noh was not interested but because Chairman wang trust jungdo and secretary kim said jungdo saved chairman wang's live, she became curious what kind of person jungdo is (its more than just to obey chairman's order)

And for the second con (con regular citizen to pay tax, to prevent sung il loses his job).. In my opinion, besides money, they feel exicited? Like adrenalin rush? Because you still do your "usual" job but for good reason. Sometimes we did something just to have fun right?

The third con.. Jungdo's motivation still revenge.. And the other still for money

And why he must throw the money from rooftop not keep for his team
IMO, first because it is a drama .. Haha.. The writer had to create a huge impact.. Second, because that was his revenge.. He wanted to bang pil gyu feels miserable , loss his money that he treasure, and know that the money never comeback to him.. If jungdo keep the money for the team.. Bang oil gyu still have a way to get the money back and sung Il couldn't accept that decision (because sung il's motivation is still the same, everyone must pay their taxes)
Sung Il forgive jungdo's action later because he learned from dokbae jungdo's tragic past

And after in prison for two years he realized his action is to selfish because he is too focus for the revenge.. So in the last con.. He made sung Il be a navigation

Sorry for the long post and for my english

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And for ma jinseok.. Yes he didn't get money but he can take down people who betray him? That for his own satification.. And I think he feel thrilling with this kind of con.. Haha

And this my question.. What happened with dokbae?

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Didn't throw all of Bang Pil Gyu's $$ off the buildings.

Kept enough to give to Sung-il the amount for payment of the local tax.

Think it made sense for Jung-do to not have kept the 10% cut that was to be the share of the gang.

That cut was to be payment for conning Bang Pil Gyu and getting payment for both the local and national taxes, but due to threat of Bang being able to get the $$ back, were not able to finish their goal.

Also think Jung-do didn't take the cut in order Sung-il (as well as Sung-hee) to more understanding of his intentions, and that he wasn't solely in it for the $$ (even if that meant that the rest of the gang wouldn't get their share either).

Sung-il was mad at Jung-do more for not being in the loop w/ regard to the final play w/ Bang (as well as being a pawn from the very beginning), rather than being angry for having been betrayed (it's not like Jung-do betrayed Sung-il by taking the $$ for his own benefit).

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I agree with some of the points that you raised. I feel that they could've done more with Sung Hee's character. While her back story with JD, was done really well, even if we were only given a few scenes, they could have developed her relationship with her dad more, instead of mostly dropping hints in the earlier episodes that they were related. It would've been great, imo, if we were given a sequence as to how a young Sung Hee saw her dad turned from a truly righteous man who created the Tax Department into a corrupt man that became willing to betray people and cover up a murder.

As for Mi Joo, I would've wanted a little back story as to how she got to know JD and how she started liking him this much to end up always helping him in his cons.

Looking back, I now get a couple of people's comments about how the show dragged on with the Ma Jin Seok con as it seems that a lot were crammed in the last 4 episodes.

Having said that, I think this drama is well written than most, with a good ensemble cast. Watching SIG transform as JD was truly a delight.

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My only problem with the series, is the writer forgetting some of the back stories he'd created for the smaller characters and forgetting all together that they were three leads instead of two.

I mean, JD had told BSI that MJ is the way she is because she'd been hurt. How was she hurt? BSI cop friend what happened to him? Choi knew about SH being the mayor's daughter, even without roughing her up or killing her, he could have used that against the man as was suggested, but never carried through. Another is in the next ep, so I won't spoil it for anyone. Then there's SH who was under utilized then discarded completely. I had imagined she’d be the moral authority until the very end, as she had slowly began becoming, but then she was completely cut out and made into a non essential guest character. She was served up as being very intelligent, and had been running concurrently with the first con to try to save BSI through legal means when she still believed the system worked. When she truly discovered how ingrained the corruption was, less and less was done with her. Heck we even forgot about the intern kid who served as one of the motivation for the second con. Is he dead, did he recover, or still in a coma?

But with all that said, looking at it all, it would have been rather hard fitting proper side character development in 16 eps, and despite the flaws the story still managed to engage and not make me drop the drama.

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I agree with you but unfortunately perfection is not possible and I think the drama was still quite well written compared to other shows. What frustrates me the most I think os how Sung Hee went from lead actress to secondary character. She didn't do much and only seemed to provide help from time to time. A lead is supposed to be a driving force and I didn't feel that here.

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LOVE. THIS. DRAMA.
The never-ending plot twists even until the last 2 episode.

Are we seeing OCN's drama of the year?

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This show so much reminds me of the current GAG concert skit, "I knew this would happen."

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